What do you do when everything in your perfect plan goes haywire?
Well, let me tell you this. I don’t really know, except to sit back and see what God is doing.
I recently had a week where everything I had planned went out the window. It was my oldest son’s first week of kindergarten. The week my middle son turned two. And with all that was happening, plus having a five-week-old baby in the house, I figured having a solid plan would be in my best interest. So I planned, prepared things ahead, and felt awfully good about myself as I did so.
Insert laughter here. I feel like I should know better by now.
It all started the week before with some severe and unexplainable pain. Long story short, I ended up spending two of my son’s five day school week in our local hospital. Not what I wanted. Not what I planned.
And I will admit, I spent a good amount of time that week feeling awfully sorry for myself. Angry at how it all turned out. Grieving my plans and mourning my preparations. Resenting my body for failing me when I had things I needed to do. Wondering what the point of all of this was after all.
But soon I began to see, God had a great plan that was much better than mine.
He had planned out each and every moment. He made space in the lives of the people who cared for and loved on my kids, creating a deeper appreciation in my heart. He allowed for others to come spend time with me, deepening friendships that He wanted to grow deeper. He showed me how precious it is to be loved and supported by those around you, as they take time to check on you and pray for you. And He convicted me to use my time wisely for His glory, when I wasn’t doing so.
See, here’s the thing I’m learning most about God: the things I think are good are often not the things He wants for MY good. I think things like a clean house, obedient kids, a doting husband, and perfect eyeliner are all really good things. And you know what? They are certainly not bad things at all. But they are not Kingdom things. They are not things that bring you to the cross to be drenched in His grace.
The things that do that are usually not things we would choose for ourselves, like illness, loss, wandering children, financial strife… the list goes on.
When things don’t go as planned, when things get hard, I have to believe that God means what He says when He says that He works all things out for our good and for His glory. (Romans 8:28)
So I’m challenging myself, and I hope you will challenge yourself as well. If you are in a season of struggle, or are watching your plans blow away in the wind, try this prayer:
“Lord, when I don’t see how, use this for Your glory. Use it for my ultimate good. And may I shine for You through it all.”
Because in the end, it’s all for His glory. Every bit of it. And in the midst of the pain and the struggle, or even just the frustration and annoyance, all we can do is put our eyes on Him and keep them off what surrounds us.
Make your plans, friends. There’s nothing wrong with that. But prepare your heart for a holy interruption. Make space for the plans of the One who writes your every breath.
And in the end, may we say, “Lord, I see now what You were doing, and so I praise You!”